Romans 3:24-25 Sermon #25February 16, 2014

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1 CHRIST our Mercy Seat! This Morning we are at the crux of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:24-26 are some of the meatiest verses in the Bible yet they are no more then what God has been saying since Genesis 1 verse one. In the beginning, God! God has made everything including a path for us to walk to return to His righteousness through His mercy and grace. In the Old Testament we can read about the laws and ordinances that God set in place to show His people He was the one and only righteous God. Obedience in cleansing and washing and offering would bring them near to Him but without the removal of sin, near is all the closer they could be. This morning I would like to start by reviewing a few terms and ordinances from the Old testament so we can see How the whole Bible is about Jesus Christ. The Mercy seat on the Arc was the cover between God's perfect law and the sins of man. I want you to think for a moment about this. This is the throne of God. We refer to it as the throne of Grace. This is where God would pronounce what was to become of His people and how they were to be in accordance with His Guidance and protection. Now remember Mercy is not giving someone what they deserve and Grace is Giving them what they don't deserve. The mercy seat was only allowed to be approached by the High priest and only after the sprinkling of blood for the sins of the High Priest. Page1

2 It was also behind the veil. A thick curtain that blocked the view and access of everyone else. Only the High Priest could come to the Mercy Seat or Throne of Grace for the people and only after the sprinkling of blood. After doing so the priest would make atonement for the sins of the people. He became the intercessor for them. He would come to the mercy seat, the throne of God for them. Once a year! On the day of atonement! The blood of a bull for the priest and the blood of a goat for the people. Why, do you ask, was there always blood sprinkled and poured and offered, for everything they did? Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Now, what does the Bible say? The wages of sin is death. A man is born into sin. He will live out His physical life in sin and die a physical death a sinner never knowing there was anything wrong. He can live physically to die physically. Sin comes from the heart, from the soul of man. From a mans spirit come his desires which give birth to sin and when sin is full grown it brings forth death. Now the Law was given so we would know what sin is. So we can understand that we will die spiritually because of our sin. The covenant was placed in the arc and sealed with a cover called the mercy seat. The Law was God's standard of living for all men but could not be met by anyone.anything short of the perfect standard of God is sin. Therefore a life had to be taken as atonement for the breaking of the law or coming Page2

3 short of God's standards. The life is in the blood. So the life blood of a bull was given in the place of the life blood of the priest and the blood of a goat for the people. The blood covered the sin that separated man from God by His standard. God could then be approached by the Priest in behalf of the people. God could and would look upon His people without compromising His righteousness, and could give them what they did not deserve. God's mercy and grace were then available without compromising His Righteousness. God cannot look upon sin nor overlook it. There must be an atonement. But look at what had to be done. The life blood of many animals was shed for the sins of individuals and for the sins of many, but this was only a foreshadow of what was to come. The innocent blood of animals was only a covering and had the be reapplied continuously. 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. As we begin this morning I want to stress the point from verse 24; redemption that is in Christ Jesus: In the strongest sense of the word it means "the price that is payed for freedom" We have a tendency to soften the original meanings, by applying our modern usages and applications. Redeeming a pop bottle or cereal box top for something implies a trade for something of equal value. Page3

4 This was not a trade. This was the price paid to free us from the penalty of death due to us for our sins. The Old Testament shedding of innocent life blood to cover the sins of the people actually started with Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Innocent blood was shed so what Adam and Eve were now ashamed of, there sin of disobedience could be covered in the sight of God. redemption that is in Christ Jesus, is the life blood of the innocent that is payed for the guilty. Now we come to verse 25 and we see Whom God hath set forth. Let's get a grip on this. GOD set forth! God gave His only begotten Son. It's all of God not of God and Man or man alone. Christ was not accused by the religious elite, sentenced by Pilate and crucified by the Romans by accident. The shedding of His blood was not coincidental with what needed to be done. The resurrection was not a correction of a mistake. 24 Jesus Christ: 25 Whom God set forth. For God so loved the World that He gave----he Gave. It was always God's plan from the moment Adam and Eve sinned to the moment Christ returns. I will prove this to you by scripture. First I would like everyone to see the Bible is all about Jesus Christ. The ceremony of atonement by the High Priest or the actions of the High priest for the people are all about Jesus Christ. The day of atonement and Page4

5 the offerings for atonement were a physical symbol of God wanting His people to be one with Him again. The life of man was established to be a life with God. As we reasoned a few weeks ago in Sermon #23 The Righteousness of God is His claim on Man. to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, The word propitiation should be translated from the Hebrew meaning as Mercy Seat. To propitiate is to cover or pass over. When used by Paul in this verse it is obvious he is drawing on terminology that would be recognized by anyone with knowledge of the Pentateuch. It is the definition of Mercy. Not giving someone what they deserve to pass over, or even become friendly to someone undeserving. The mercy seat was where the High Priest with the Life Blood of innocence made atonement for the sins of himself and the people. This was until God Himself gave of Himself as a final and perfect offering. Jesus Christ became our Mercy Seat. His life blood was applied by His free will. He became our advocate, our High Priest before God. The blood of Bulls and lambs were insufficient for the removal or washing away of sin. For the wages of sin is death that is death to the sinner not a goat or a bull. A mans death was the price for a mans sins. By faith, sacrifices were made as a covering of sin but the removal of sin was by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. The perfect sinless life blood of a man was shed for the sin filled life of any man willing to believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ became the mercy seat sprinkled with His own blood as our high priest that we may approach Him in faith that He has fulfilled the Law Page5

6 and our lives have been redeemed. The price has been payed for our freedom from death unto life. It's all of God. His claim on man has remained even when our claim on Him has not. Only a righteous God would perfectly fulfill the demands of punishment for sin while perfectly restoring sinners back to Himself. We do not deserve to be saved but are gifted with a way to return to eternal fellowship with God. The free Gift of salvation is grace from God. Mercy and Grace all through Jesus Christ. Now I would like to clarify a few things. When we use the expression coming to the cross, we need to understand that Jesus Christ is not there. The cross is where He bore our sins and shed His blood. But Jesus Christ is not there. The cross is where we confess our sins, lay them down and the blood is applied that washes us clean as snow, but Jesus Christ is not there! The cross is where we declare our faith that He has once and for all made atonement and has redeemed us from eternal death unto eternal life. But Jesus Christ is not there! We confess He Died for our sins and was buried in a tomb. But Jesus Christ is not there either.--- For even the angels declared "Why do you look for the living among the dead?" Our Savior lives and because He has taken captivity captive we may come to Him having the blood of innocence sprinkled before us and as believers upon us. We may come to our High Priest, our living mercy seat to ask for God's glory in His name. What is God's Glory? His Righteousness that He reckons to us. Page6

7 25 Jesus Christ: to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, To be our mercy seat that we may approach God through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. The righteousness of God that was written in stone and placed in the Arc of the covenant; sealed from man by the cover or mercy seat that not a sinful hand could touch it. Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law of God and once again opened the door for man to walk in the righteousness of God. Faith in His Blood that we may approach our mercy seat believing in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Eph 2:15-16 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of two one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; This is not an admission of our past sins. This is a recognition of the total salvation for all time that is through Jesus Christ. Those that have believed in God and passed before Christ was crucified are just as saved as you and I. This was always God's plan of salvation for all men and it doesn't matter if they knew how or when God's plan would be fulfilled, they were saved by faith that it would be. 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: Declaring the righteousness of Jesus Christ is confessing Him as Lord and Savior past, present and future. At one time, I had a hard time understanding how one man could pay for the sins of all men; each man individually. Page7

8 Then I came to the knowledge that it's not sins; it's sin. Sin entered all men through one man. Sin as a whole. One or many makes no difference, it's still sin. When Jesus Christ payed the price for sin, He did it in it's entirety. Sin as a whole. John the Baptist declared; John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming to him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. Jesus Christ payed the price for sin as a whole, which covers all men for all time which includes those that believed God and their faith was counted to them as righteousness. In other words their redemption was put on accounts receivable or credit. But now, redemption is immediate Romans 10: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. God has declared His righteousness to all men through Jesus Christ. He has made Him to be just and the justifier of anyone that will put His faith in the sacrifice of atonement, the blood of Christ that washes away our sin, the price that was payed in full for us through God's Mercy and receive the free undeserved gift of salvation through the Grace of God. Page8

9 Our Savior is not on the cross, nor is He in a tomb. He is risen by the power of God to be our High Priest at the right hand of our Father for ever. Put your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, confess, repent, and be sprinkled with the blood of Christ then pour yourself into Him, for He is our Mercy Seat, He is the Throne of Grace that we may come boldly to, anytime and all the time. Amen! Page9

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